The Ahurea Experience

A rewarding, fun and life-changing cultural adventure camp in the heart of the Waihi gold mining district.

Team Unity

Paeroa College Thames High School Waihi College Katikati College Whangamata Area School Te Aroha College Waihi Academy
Download The Ahurea Experience programme

Paeroa College

Paeroa College

Excellence in Everything

Paeroa College is a small co-educational school set in a lovely rural location that is famous for L&P. With a roll of approximately 300 students it boasts small class sizes and a friendly family atmosphere which allow them to provide quality learning opportunities and cater for each student’s need. Our small school prides itself on the sound relationships formed between staff and students. All students who come to Paeroa College will be given the opportunity to develop into confident learners who: have a passion for life, demonstrate perceptive learning skills, show respect for others and develop independence. We welcome you to explore our education programme and hope you find it useful!

Doug Black

My name is Doug Black.
I am principal of Paeroa College.

Paeroa College is a fantastic learning institution. I am really pleased to work here. We offer also different curriculum and opportunities. We are in the middle of beautiful rural country side and Thames valley in Waikato region of New Zealand. I will say “Haere Mai” that is “Welcome” anyone would like to come to see us here and experience some what we have offer.


Thames High School

Thames High School

That I May be Worthy of My Country

Thames High School is a friendly medium sized co-educational secondary school catering for students from Year 9 to Year 13. The school has a roll of approximately 600 students. Our school believes that study abroad is an enriching experience for everyone involved. Over the years, our school has built up the infrastructure and mechanisms which ensure that students enjoy a safe and happy stay. We strive to inspire learning and develop the whole person. Priority is given to academic attainment and to developing students’ initiative, creativity, self-esteem and self-discipline. Our school prides itself on having a rich and vibrant cultural life. Students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, available both at school and out in the community. We have a dedicated International Team to help students integrate into school life, and to take full advantage of all that our school and the wider community have to offer. 2015 Student Leaders

Dave Sim

My name is Dave Sim.
I’m the principal of Thames High School.

Together with the other partner schools we look forward to meeting with students from overseas and sharing with them all our school has to offer. Our school is located in the small town of Thames on the Coromandel peninsula. Our 600 students enjoy learning in a friendly family environment. We pride ourselves on providing a wide range of learning opportunities for our students, both inside the classroom . Alongside traditional academic activities our students benefit from cultural, sporting and outdoor learning activities. We look forward to sharing this with international


Waihi College

Waihi College

Our faith is the law

We pride ourselves on being a school that prepares the young men and women of the Waihi community for the future. Our aim is to develop confident, connected, life-long learners who are active contributors to the wellbeing of our community and to New Zealand.

Our students achieve excellent academic and personal success in a wide variety of endeavours. Our graduates understand the value of teamwork and self-realisation as well as being able to make informed and considered decisions that make them valuable contributing members of society.

Our school offers a broad curriculum (both in and out of the classroom) to meet the needs of our diverse range of students. Our students are challenged academically in a context of experience-learning centred education. Also, we encourage students, and provide appropriate support, to work on topics related to their personal areas of interest.

All students who come to Waihi College will be given the opportunity to excel in the many programmes and activities provided and to develop as well-rounded, balanced and productive citizens who will be able to play an important role in the New Zealand and world society.

It is our belief that students learn best when they understand the learning process and are able to participate fully in it. Our students are able to use their daily experiences to help them make sense of their knowledge and skills of different contexts in ways that are connected, real and relevant to their lives.

Alistair Cochrane

My name is Alistair Cochrane.
I am principal of Waihi College.

Located in the Bay of Plenty on New Zealand's North Island West Coast, Waihi College enjoys huge grounds and spectacular natural scenery. We have our own kiwifruit orchard, farm unit, great facilities and outstanding sports, academic and arts courses. With Waihi Beach and Tauranga Harbour at our door step, we specialize in the outdoors. Our outdoor education and sports programmes are among the best in New Zealand and feature surfing, mountain biking, climbing and kayaking right at our doorstep. Our English language courses cater for learners of all abilities and our excellent homestay services ensure all international students receive the very best of care. If this sounds like you, please visit our website and Facebook page for more information.

Waihi College has been hosting international students for many years and regularly hosts students from many parts of Europe, Asia and South America. We welcome the variety and diversity these students bring to Waihi College and we are committed to doing what we can to make their time here the best that it can be. All this makes Waihi College an exceptional place and an excellent option for international students. Better still come and join us and see for your selves. You won’t be disappointed.


Katikati College

Katikati College

Ever trying, Ever onward

Our focus on education is about providing a quality learning environment. The College provides meaningful learning opportunities which inspire all students to reach their full potential as valuable members of society. As a result, we have a proud tradition of academic excellence and the backing of a supportive community. The school roll currently stands at 1000 and is expected to continue to rise as more people move into our catchment zone.

Given the nature of many industries based in Katikati, the town has an appreciation of internationalism and receives regular visitors from all over the world. Both the school and community regularly welcome international guests and enjoy the interaction with them.

The College has had an extensive international student exchange programme for many years. We have deliberately restricted the number of international students (a maximum of 20 international students each year) to ensure that those fortunate enough to enrol receive the best possible support. Because of our relatively small numbers, students are well served and receive comprehensive support. They are welcomed into the College by other students and are soon integrated into the school and quickly become very much a part of it.

Neil Harray

Welcome to Katikati College. My name is Neil Harray.
I am principal of the school.

We are a rural co-educational school. Many boys and girls are in our college. We have pupils around 870 students in the school. We have an expensive ground and facility. The student enjoy the space and running around the school. That student enjoy have student from international countries come to visit with us. We have a long proud of history for the international students visit us from all over the world. From Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Brazil. We have arranged student who really enjoy their time in here. We are really get involve community and buddy look after the student and really enthusiasm. Our fantastic homestay and host parents really look forward to working with us and international students and really love from. We hope you can get to find more information about Katikati College. We are looking forward to hear from you in the future.


Whangamata Area School

Whangamata Area School

Uplift and foster mana

Whangamata Area School is a co-educational school which offers a unique educational opportunity with schooling from Year 1 right through to Year 13. The school has the advantage of having a range of specialist teachers and facilities, and also of being able to retain the flexibility and pastoral support individual students need. We are able to offer small class sizes throughout the school. Attending an Area School, our students enjoy advantages not offered in other schools:

  • Continuity in their education avoiding the disruption of starting new schools at intermediate and secondary levels;
  • Significant leadership opportunities for senior students and confidence building relationships for juniors;
  • A small senior school giving our students the chance to construct 'tailor made' courses, with close and full support of highly professional staff - the success of which can be seen in our NCEA results.

We are able to offer many additional courses to our students. These courses meet both their needs and interests and provide a wide range of cultural and sporting learning experiences outside the classroom.

Ross Preeoe

Hello my name is Ross Preece.
I am principal of Whangamata Area School.

We are a K1-12 school of 350 pupils with an international student programme that takes up to 10 internationals per year. Because we are such a small school all our students benefit from individual attention and we produce excellent academic results.We have a family atmosphere with many pupils completing all their education with us. International students are made to feel welcome in our family.

Our school is popular with international students because of subjects such as Art...Outdoor Education and Marine Studies which is possible because we are located on a beach with a Marine Reserve just along the coast.

We are lucky enough to be based in Whangamata which is one of New Zealand's favourite holiday destinations because of our beautiful beach. Please feel free to check out our website if you might be interested in Whangamata Area School.


Te Aroha College

Te Aroha College

A Courage Blameless, A Purpose Joyful

At Te Aroha College we work with our students and community, the relationships we create allow us to work collaboratively and allow us all to be high quality learners. We have high expectations for all. At Te Aroha College we expect all who belong to our whānau, our staff, our students, our parents and caregivers to:

  • Build Positive, Respectful Relationships
  • Build Excellence through Motivation
  • Build Resilience
We value the importance of Excellence and Success and take great pride in our students' achievements. We offer a school environment that is personalised, forward focused, innovative and able to cater for the individual needs our community's young people.

We have an exceptional teaching team who are committed to excellence, believe in the power of building strong learning relationships and are focused on success for all students.

We have a High Care - High Expectations based restorative culture and work hard to ensure our students understand the importance of responsibility, respect and resilience.

We work hard to establish community links and opportunities that allow our students to learn and achieve success in real world situation that supports a culture of lifelong learning and the development of each young person's strengths and passions. We have a strong history of success and achievement that has spanned the last 50 years and are committed to offering a quality of education that our families, whānau, town and wider community can be proud of.

Our small size is our greatest asset allowing us the time and focus to know our students well, build quality learning relationships and challenge each student to be the best they can be.

Heather Gorrie

Kia Ora my name is Heather Gorrie.
I am principal of Te Aroha College.

Te Aroha College offers a strong International Student programme with both individual long stay and group short stay options available.

We have excellent support for learners of English and our small class sizes allow students to maintain a strong academic programme.

Our community provide an exceptional level of Home Stay support for our international students in a safe and caring environment.

Our students enjoy our small town and given our excellent location can access many events and experiences on offer in the cities close to us.

Te Aroha College students have a number of opportunities to travel overseas with regular sports and cultural trips taking place on an annual basis. These include planned trips to Asia, Australia, and South America in the coming years.

Te Aroha College is also very supportive of student exchange programmes with a number of students selected to study abroad for up to a year.


Waihi Academy

Waihi Academy

Welcome to the Waihi Academy. We pride ourselves on being a viable international and multicultural family primarily focused on sharing our vision, experiences and future goals with our friends, families, colleagues and communities. We hope that all our visitors and students will find their experience here both positive and enlightening. We are confident that our courteous, friendly professional programme and service will enhance each participant’s personal and spiritual well-being. 

Our mission is for the Waihi Academy to be considered a local community educational resource that promotes peace and harmony for all who visit.

Mission statement:

  • To promote experience-based educational interaction between people of different languages, cultural backgrounds, age and health, personal experience, diet requirements and technical expertise.
  • To promote peace and harmony through multi-cultural interactive-learning experiences that enhance personal and spiritual growth that respect the true essence of all living things.
  • To promote human wellness in terms of body, mind and spirit.


Our venue for hire

Site visits are welcome and can be arranged through appointment.

Things to do in and around Waihi

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